August 2011

The Filibuster

Tim Pawlenty is out of the race and Rick Perry is in.  Bachmann wins the straw poll but is still bat-sh*t insane.  If the Republican primary is a pennant race, who’s your horse?

Paul
Annandale, MI
___________________________________

Oh boy.

Metaphors are my friends, metaphors are my friends, metaphors are my friends.

If the Republican primary is a pennant race, then it must be in the Arena Football League because I am finding it quite difficult taking any of them seriously.

Michele Bachmann?  Um… no.

Rick Perry?  Um… also no.

Please note my severe reluctance to support any candidate who harbors a deep relationship with imaginary friends who tend to be bipolar, judgmental, homophobe racists.

Rick Santorum?  Noooo.

Mitt Romney?  Double noooo.  Though I am still waiting for his endorsement of the Mormon Underwear website.

Newt Gingrich?  Yikes!  Now we’re really gettin’ into the thick of crazy!

Jimmy McMillan?  Okay, now we’ve reached the bottom.

Thad McCotter?  Cool name.  Boring everything else.

Sorry, Paul… ya see, unlike picking an MLB winner, crawling through this web of same-ole-same-ole GOP crazies is a bit difficult.  There is no Philadelphia Phillies lights-out candidate.  There is no Yankee flyer.  There is no Red Sox contender.

No.

But, wait… there is… hmm… there is hope.  And no, I’m not talking about the empty promise sounding “hope” dished out ad nauseum by the Obama campaign to dupe intellectual lefties like myself during the ’08 race.  No.  Staying here, within the “Republican” party, there is… there is another.

But before I can declare my allegiance, I need to think on it.  I need to think on it very, very carefully.  While I do so, remember not to hate me (because I’m right) and please enjoy this informational video thoughtfully prepared by the RSBS interns:


To be continued…

Jeff

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Interested to know why Mr. Krause still can’t believe it’s not butter?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

Competing With the Ayatollah

Whenever I need to escape, I like to think about Iran and our wonderful 3 decade long competition.  What’s impressive is that since the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979, there have always been new ways to exploit the tension, both politically and artistically.

Of course the most famous of these exploitations has to be the years of enmity between Hulk Hogan and the Iron Sheik.  The two went back and forth, always finding a new way to up the ante in their ongoing feud.  It wasn’t just entertainment, it was sport for a country looking for a villain and a hero.

That’s one of the beautiful things about sports in America.  We tend to be really good at them so no matter how things may be going geo-politically, we can always come back to our athletic achievements.  That’s part of the reason why the Olympic basketball loss to the Russians in 1972 was so devastating.  It’s also why the 1980 Lake Placid “Miracle on Ice” was so satisfying.  It’s probably also why we really don’t even pay attention during the World Baseball Classic.

But recently we had another one of those moments of pride and it once again involved wrestling and Iran.  There was no grandstanding for the crowd this time, though.  Just a simple non-look that says “I owned you.”

Where’s your Iron Sheik now, Iran?  Huh?

-A

Forget Me Not

With just six weeks and some change left in the regular season, now is the time I lament my dear Cardinals’ now seemingly annual implosion from the top of the NL Central and into regular season obscurity.  Sure we can blame Waino’s injury.  We can blame Albert’s transformation from Machine to Double-Play Machine.  We can blame shoddy defense and the lack of a real closer, hell, blame me, I don’t care.  But in the end, there is no denying that we have lost the really important games and we’ve been real sloppy doing it.

Of course, this is the NL Central.  So until the math cancels us out, there’s no need to give up just yet.

The same cannot be said for the Tampa Bay Rays.

If the Rays were in any division other than the AL East they’d be right in the thick of contention.  Unfortunately, the way things are now, even if they do collect the fourth best record in the AL, they still won’t make the playoffs as long as post season regulars New York and Boston remain above them.  I find this a bit sad, for the Rays have gotten tremendous pitching all season long and they’ve found a way to win without high-priced free agent flops Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena.

But no one’s talking about the Rays.  And no one will.

Hm… reminds me of the one-way delusional street commonly referred to as the Republican Party.


In the case of the Rays, at least they’ll get another shot next year.  Dr. Paul, on the other hand, is stuck in a great big clogged up tube of crazy, and the exit is nowhere to be found.

Happy Friday!

Jeff

Bachmann-Thome Overdrive

Over the past few days a couple of interesting things happened.  In Iowa, Michele Bachmann won the Ames Straw Poll in elegant fashion:

…while in Detroit, Jim Thome hit home run number 600 for his career and ruined Delmon Young’s first game as a Tiger:

What do these two events have in common?  Minnesota.  And the fact that they scare me.  I just hope that Bachmann follows in the Twins’ footsteps and slowly dwindles away.

-A

 

Setting the Mahmud

RSBS Special Correspondent and Podcast Outcast, Mr. Johanna Mahmud reports:

“My band of soaks. My den of dissolutes. They don’t hear the little ones crying!”

This is my Cubs musical set to the music of Les Miserables!

Tom Ricketts:
“Have you seen how the foreman is fuming today? With his terrible breath and his wandering hands.”

Ricketts said everything’s fine and we have Reed Johnson so we’re good.

“Why won’t daddy give me more money to waste on this crap?!” At the beginning of this, Daddy Ricketts said Tom’s allowance was sealed and he wanted no part of this purchase so “you’re on your own kid.”

Jim Hendry:
“Sitting flat on your butt doesn’t buy any bread. The rain can’t hurt me now. This rain will wash away what’s passed. This is my last chance!”

He can’t get a vote of confidence from Ricketts and he shouldn’t get one. He hasn’t won anything as the general manager. He has spent a ton of unnecessary money that the Cubs don’t even have. Yet somehow, everyone who meets the guy loves him. But this time, it’s over. OVER.

Mike Quade:
“How can I ever face my fellow men? How can I ever face myself again?”

Oh Mike… I believed in you, I really did. You waited your whole life for this. But my lord did you just make a fool of yourself over and over again. Your press conferences were the stuff of legend in folly for anyone covering the team. Your best “locker room” guys even called you out. But I wish you well. Bon voyage on your next gig as the lovable yet moronic bench coach who always begs the question “whaaaaa happpenedddd?”

Wrigley Field:
“Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men? It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!”

I’m Wrigley and I’ve had enough. Put me to sleep and move this sorry @$$ team to the suburbs and let me go gracefully into the good night as a music venue and historical landmark for a team that did nothing but make people cry over the last 100 years.

Alfonso Soriano:
“Master of the house, doling out the charm, ready with a handshake and an open palm!”

Yea. Kinda. The master does dole out the charm and his open palm is FULL OF MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

Why should we hate him? It’s not his fault Jim Hendry is DENSE BEYOND HUMAN RECOGNITION. He gets blamed for far too much. He got old. Ok? If he was scouted better by the Cubs they would have seen he couldn’t be a 30/30 guy anymore.

And alas, our old friend…

Carlos Zambrano:
“Crying at all is not allowed. Not in my castle on a cloud.”

You’re right, Z. Crying is not allowed. Stop being a horrible jackass who apologizes two days late. Embrace the fact that you are a gigantic male member and own it.

It would be awesome if someone would bring me home from this wretched excuse of a team with REAL FANS WHO DIE TO BELIEVE EVERY EFFING YEAR

–Johanna Mahmud

Follow Johanna on Twitter!

Picturing the Evil Empire

We won the Cold War.  There’s no debating that.  The Soviet Union split up, Germany was reunified and communism went the way of the Whigs and the Bull Moose.  But sometimes it feels like we still lost.  Like when you hear about Vladimir Putin’s new personal photographer:

Sure, Vlad isn’t a Soviet per se but it’s pretty safe to say that he has a lot more in common with Stalin than he does with FDR.  Although maybe not quite so much.  The point is, the Russians may have lost the war but they seem to be winning the battle.

It’s a little like the Red Sox and the Yankees.  Sure, the Red Sox may have finally gotten by the Yankees to win that elusive World Series.  They may have even succeeded in doing it again right afterwards.  But they’re never going to catch the Yankees.  The Yankees are the Evil Empire just like Vlad and his boys are the heirs to the Soviet version.

So, what can we do?  How can we fight back against a Russia that just keeps coming back like some totalitarian Freddy Krueger?  Well, I think the first step is obvious.  Obama needs to get a better looking photographer:

The rest will work itself out from there.

-A

The Option of Silence

There are times when a team is inseparable from its broadcaster.  Think Jack Buck.  Ernie Harwell.  Phil Rizzuto.  Those golden voices had the rare ability to know when to shut up and when to comment, when to add something to the game and when to let the game be the game.

The truth is: baseball doesn’t need commentary.

Sure, it’s helpful at times and yes, I would be a liar if I didn’t admit getting a kick out of the “OUTTA HERE”s, the “JIMMY JACK”s and “OPPO TACO”s.  Baseball, at its root, is game of great sounds: PA announcers and bat cracks and balls slamming mitts.  But more often than not, I find myself at great odds with the voices who are currently mucking up my baseball game on television watching experiences.

The White Sox, in particular, harbor the most egregious of all audio-felons.  I mean, Hawk Harrelson’s commentary is almost entirely made up of stupid catchphrases that he donned eons ago.  And while they may have been cute back then, they are nothing short of annoying now.

Hawk is certainly not alone.  There are countless other offenders.  Michael Kay.  Rod Allen.  Bert Blyleven.  I have nothing against them, personally, but often the commentary they provide is as mindless as it is boring, and I would like the option to shut them up.

Because MUTE ain’t the answer.

I want to hear the ump’s calls.  I want to hear the beer guy in section 113.  I want to hear the crowd roar on a go-ahead RBI double.

Back in 2009, SNY — a station that, ironically, has one of the better broadcasting teams in baseball — experimented with something they called “The Silent Sixth”, where they did just that: they shut up.  Silence.  No talking.  But they cranked up the sound on the field mics and I can attest: it was a true thing of beauty.  Soon I found myself tuning into lots of Mets games come the sixth inning, enjoying the pure sounds of the game the way they were meant to be enjoyed before egocentric legacy hunters and no-limit-in-yer-face advertising began trashing the game (seriously, does every bullpen move have to be sponsored by Domino’s?).

In this era of technocracy, where I can watch every single baseball game on my television, my computer AND my phone, where I can choose which broadcast I want to listen to WHENEVER I want, one would think that providing the option for silence would not be asking too much.

Baseball titans (King Bud, Joe Torre, whoevs), do me a favor and git ‘er done.

And don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

The Filibuster

A lot of young guys making some noise right now.  Any one you like in particular?

Matt
Jeffersonville, IN
___________________________________

George Bernard Shaw once pointed out that “youth is wasted on the young.”  Me, as I continue getting older, I couldn’t agree more.  It’s a total waste.  And honestly, I’m sick of hearing about it.  I’m sick of hearing about young voters.  I’m sick of hearing about hot, young prospects.  I’m sick of hearing that something is a young man’s game.

Look, there’s a reason that we don’t allow someone younger than 35 to be President of the US.  It’s the same reason that it’s rare to see someone under the age of 27 truly flourish in baseball.  We love the idea of youth but raw talent without experience can only take you so far.  It’s the reason why the Indians were willing to trade away future stars to wrap up a current star.  Sure, one of those guys might go on to have a Hall of Fame type career.  But Jimenez has already shown that he can deliver.  That’s a little more important when you’re in a playoff race.

The same thing goes for politics.  I’d like to see the national debt slashed and spending brought under control as much as anyone.  However, I think that ruining the country’s credit rating during a time of fitful recovery illustrates arrogance, not intelligence.  The Tea Partiers are young and fired up.  They’re going to go in there and change things.  But the Founding Fathers created the Constitution in such a way that change has to be gradual and necessitates compromise.

Experienced legislators understand compromise and realize that holding a gun to the country’s head is not a long-term solution.  They effectively shift the system one way or the other, depending on the country’s needs at the time.  The need this time was avoiding default but the youngsters were willing to play fast and loose with that need, holding it for ransom in order to get their own way.  It’s like a rookie holding out before training camp.  He may end up getting most of what he wanted but you know you can’t trust him and you know he’s only really worried about himself.

So, youngsters I like?  I can’t answer that.  And the fact is I don’t really trust ‘em.  Let’s see how they do the rest of the season and then I’ll let you know.

-A

**Have a topic you want to see us Filibuster?  Want a free pimp for your blog?  Interested in in finding out how Mr. Lung discovered that there is a wrong way to eat a Reeses?  Send us your Filibuster questions by emailing kraulung@gmail.com or by commenting below.

People Who Are Worse Than Carlos Zambrano

1.  Hitler

2.  Jeffrey Dahmer

3.  ?????

Sorry, that’s all I could come up with.

Big Z is nothing but a Big Dick.  I feel for my Cub fan friends right now.  I really do.

He is — and ALWAYS HAS BEEN — a dark stain on the game, on his team, on my city.

So I hope he never comes back.

Happy Saturday!

J

Flux Capacitor and Cheese

While reading about a recent event in Sweden, I had an idea.  If it’s possible to split atoms on a stovetop, perhaps I could push the technology a bit further and figure out a little stovetop time travel.  Think of the possibilities…….

I could go back to 2006 and make sure the Tigers beat the Cardinals in the Series.  You know, with the butterfly effect and all, it could even be something really simple like making my 2006 self do something slightly differently.  Of course I’d do this after the Tigers had knocked off the Athletics to go to the Series but one little change and it’s an alternate universe where David Eckstein plays as small as he really is.

Or I could do like Back to the Future and place a few strategic bets that would leave my future self comfortable for life.  Imagine if I bet on Butler making the NCAA final two years in a row.  Yeah, that would be something.

Or what about all those awkward moments where you think of the perfect thing to say right after the other person has left.  Imagine showing up as some sort of future-based teleprompter.  No more “the jerk store called and they’re running out of you” for this guy.

Right about this point, though, I hit the next article which immediately snapped me out of my reverie.  Time travel impossible?  But what about Doc Brown?  What about the DeLorean?  What about the Tigers finally winning in 2006?  Stupid scientists.  I guess this stovetop will remain dedicated to the production of macaroni and cheese.

-A

 

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